When I was five, life was a merry go round. A mere glimpse of chaos that flashes by like a streak of colour in my memory. I don’t jump on the ride but instead I watch as it begins to spin. When I was five, there were moments of laughter and screaming with joy, whilst being tickled by my father.

There were moments of ice skating, on top of a vast and ethereal looking lake. In these moments the landscape around me is towering, the Rocky Mountains looming over me like castle walls. When I was five there are moments of darkness. Moments I cannot get back for the sheer intense sadness felt when I was five.

Suddenly, when I was five, I was not amongst the mountains, I was not with my father. Out of the memory and into another, I am five and I am in New Zealand. I have an accent, different to the other children on the first day. I am living with my mother. From my mother’s arms I run straight into the classroom and don’t look back.

I am free, I am fast, I am fatherless, I am fearless. I am no longer five but I am still fearless. I am not without a father, nor am I fatherless, but I am a stepdaughter and I do have a father living who I haven’t seen in 15 years. I am a step daughter but I am also my father's daughter. I have two fathers. I am 25 and I feel light and alive just like when I was five.

Elise HoggardComment